Cliff Lee Is Back! Christmas Comes Early For The Phillies


P8195298 CLee2.jpgMany Phillies fan’s rolled out of bed this morning and had to pinch themselves to make sure they were not dreaming.  Next, came a glance at the calendar to verify that they had not time travelled to April Fool’s Day.  And when all that was done, the reality hit like a freight train, only in a good way.  Sleepy eyes widened and fans began to jump for joy!  Cliff Lee is back!

Phillies fans were treated to the exact same mind-boggling experience last offseason, just without the happy ending.  Lee was sent to Seattle to free up prospects and acquire Roy Halladay which was a serious shock.  It takes a big man to admit he was wrong.  Not only has GM Ruben Amaro Jr. done that, he has redeemed himself completely with this signing.

And Cliff Lee has just established himself as almost God-like in the still sleepy eyes of Phillies fans everywhere.  Lee accepted less money and fewer years to come back to Philadelphia simply because he loved it here.  His wife Kristen loved it here.  And Philadelphia loved them right back.


207A.jpgThe deal is reportedly for five years and $120 million with a vesting option for a 6th year.  The Yankees offered six years, $138 million and another option to bring the total to $154 million.  The Yankees must be equally stunned as the Phillies are with this turn of events.  A player choosing happiness over money is not something you see every day.

The Yankees fans who probably feel the worst about this news are the ones who harassed and spit on Cliff Lee’s wife Kristen during the ALCS in New York this past October.  These fans may be to partly blame for sending the Lee family on this journey back to Philadelphia.  Phillies fans thank you.

As far as making room for Lee, the Phillies made an exception to their payroll to make the deal happen.  It is also rumored that they are shopping pitchers Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick plus outfielder Raul Ibanez.  Whether any teams will bite remains to be seen.

For now, Phillies fans should feel free to celebrate.  The Phils now have the best rotation in the majors with Lee, Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt.  And while no one faults Jayson Werth for taking the money and going to Washington, Cliff Lee will be appreciated that much more in Philly for choosing this team over the money.  And what an amazing team it is. 

You can all take the masking tape off you HalLEEday tee-shirts now.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

12 Comments

Wow. Just…. wow. I had hopes of the Cards going deep in the playoffs this year. Now I’m scared. Really, really scared. AND glad my team isn’t in the NL East.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

I can just feel the electricity in the air. I’m hoping to go to CBP later today to just soak it up. I had conversations with my boyfriend a number of days ago (before talks of the “mystery team” sprouted up) about the likelihood of the Phillies getting Lee. He smiled at the notion but basically said “Little to no chance.” Then of course came yesterday’s day-long whirlwind end at just about midnight with the best news possible. I wish I could hug anything and everything involved with the Phillies right now!

-Christine
http://phillingintheblanks.mlblogs.com/

It’s a Christmas miracle! What a great starting rotation that should be – looking forward to 2011 already!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

Jenn,
Always felt that the Phillies were in the background of the try for Cliff Lee. Not sure why, but as soon as Werth signed his deal in Washington, I had a sneaking feeling they turned their sights on the ultimate prize.
Halladay, Lee Oswalt, Hamels, insert guy here.
Just even trying to imagine this line-up right now is past the word intimidating.
Major investment by the red stripes, but then again, a candy cane has those same Red Stripes!
Christmas didn’t come early for the Phillies, a whole slew of holidays came together on this one.
Congrats! Congrats!

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

and to all the whiners that complained about letting Werth go, how do they like it now….

-peter
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

Congrats to the Phillies, they have the best rotation in baseball and are the clear favorites to win the NL Pennant.
http://wrigleyregular.mlblogs.com/

Enjoy your early Christmas present, Jenn! Very exciting to have your guy back.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

I agree with Jane. I’m happy for you that Cliff Lee is back with your Phillies. Phillies starting rotation is so scary! Yikes!http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

I’m very excited to have Lee back. I was crushed when he was traded away and was learning to live with the fact that he would inevitably play somewhere else for the rest of his career. Now he’s one of us again. All day I’ve had “I’M SO EXCITED!” stuck in my head.


Scott
thegoodofthegame.mlblongs.com

*grumble*
–Jonestein
http://jonestein.mlblogs.com

Very happy to have him back. I was crushed to see him traded away last year and I was just starting to accept that he would be playing his career somewhere else. Not anymore!

Where can I get my new Cliff Lee gear!?


Scott
http://thegoodofthegame.mlblogs.com

Congrats on acquiring Lee for the second time. You guys are incredible.
http://shortrightfield.blogspot.com/2010/12/lee-signs-with-mystery-team.html

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